Has Your Ideal Customer Changed?

Most companies can easily describe their ideal customer based on buyer behavior and how it relates to the product or services they offer. This generally informs a business’s marketing strategy, where companies strive to reach certain customers and attract them to the business. However, customers’ wants and needs shift over time, so marketers should stay flexible and track these changes if they want to stay profitable.

 Once companies identify a buyer persona that fits, they rarely want to reevaluate or stray from their tried-and-true methods. But what do you do when you realize that the buyers you originally outlined (and experienced success with) no longer reflect the people actually buying from you?

Buying trends and intent shift quickly in our digital-first world of information access. Most consumers are researching their purchases before they buy. And with more options than ever across nearly every industry, competition for buyer attention and engagement is fierce. 

Marketers looking for an edge over their competition should stay abreast of changes in their customer base and adjust their strategy to meet these changes. Adjusting your service offerings or marketing and sales strategy to suit a new customer demographic can be intimidating. However, it benefits your company’s profits in the long term.

The Value Behind Defining an Ideal Customer

Many established companies offer similar products and services over the course of many years and see no reason to change how they target customers. However, there’s a big difference between being consistent and getting stuck behind outdated strategies. It could be these businesses are missing out on amazing growth opportunities. 

By boosting brand awareness within a new target audience, companies connect with the people most likely to purchase their offerings.

By gaining a better understanding of buyer demographics, behavior, and needs, marketers are better able to share content that resonates. Better yet, understanding who the customer really is makes it easier to promote content where the audience is looking in the first place. Oftentimes, with limited staffing hours and budget, the best use of your marketing dollars is to invest in identifying, reaching, and converting these leads.

The Pitfalls of Defining an Ideal Customer

Finding the right buyer personas and target audiences requires research. With all of the time that goes into defining and developing these strategies, it’s no wonder brands stick to their old marketing tactics. 

When a company’s services continue solving the same consumer issue and offering similar benefits, it can be easy to believe the customer has not evolved either. The danger here lies in marketing tactics that remain static while target audiences evolve, without the business recognizing the fact that they have lost relevance. 

By remaining locked in on an out-of-date ideal buyer persona, businesses are more likely to miss out on new opportunities. Revenue-generating marketing tactics depend on proper targeting to get real results, or companies risk sub-optimizing their marketing budget.

CMOs Offer a Winning Marketing Strategy

Marketing leaders must be able to identify this underlying issue and implement changes. The consequences are too severe for any organization to overlook. This does not mean, however, that all existing strategies must be thrown out. Instead, effective action can take the form of assessment and realignment. 

Data should be at the core of any major target audience adjustment. The buyer behaviors and demographics in combination can tell you a lot about whether some, all, or none of the existing buyer personas are still relevant. By comparing expectations vs. results, marketers can follow the decision-making process and recognize where funding could be better applied. 

Where existing personnel and leadership may be too close to the issue to see or implement change, a fractional CMO could offer a new perspective. To shake up target audience marketing, teams must understand the changes in channels, platforms, concerns, challenges, and decision factors that can occur with buyers. Fractional CMOs can offer an objective, data-based assessment to identify a new niche and eliminate old ones. 


CMOs Understand Customer Profiles

In collaboration with other executives, Fractional CMOs develop more lucrative strategies that build on what’s already working. Marketing meetings are most productive when they are led by data and clear metrics for success. Once a company has updated target audiences, it should frequently audit results to see if there is a return on investment. 

Getting acquainted with a new or updated target audience also requires a bit of patience and a systematic approach. Rushing to completely redefine how you market a product or service is not the answer. Instead, methodical change based on industry trends, focus groups, and market research should be coupled with a willingness to remain flexible. Taking an iterative approach that assesses vendors, content, metrics, and performance accountability can empower more agile marketing as consumers continue to evolve.

What This Means For Your Business

Fractional CMOs rise to strategic challenges such as identifying audience, trend, and behavior shifts. With clear goals in mind, a Fractional CMO can offer strategies that connect you with the best buyers for your business. yorCMO’s network of fractional marketing executives guide organizations through strategic planning to help redefine and reignite their businesses.

Contact yorCMO to explore how a fractional CMO can work with you on tactical insights focused on achieving your business goals.

Dave Blanchard


Dave has contributed leadership in a broad variety of roles and business units over a 26-year marketing career with a Fortune 50 Technology Market Maker.